The Environmental Education Center: Singita Grumeti's Sustainability School
In today’s world, the immense impact of climate change and the depletion of non-renewable resources are inescapable realities which are especially significant to a conservation company like Singita. With sustainability as one of the three complementary pillars of our conservation approach, caring for our planet and building awareness around the importance of protecting the environment is a crucial part of our mission to preserve large areas of African wilderness for future generations.
Education is a core focus area for the Grumeti Fund, our conservation partner in Tanzania, which runs the Environmental Education Center (EEC) for students from local secondary schools. The week-long residential course highlights critical environmental issues such as deforestation, soil erosion, waste management and water conservation – issues that affect each and every one of us. Each course is presented to 12 students at a time, along with their teacher. It gives all of them the opportunity to live in nature and experience their natural heritage first-hand. Despite living in such close proximity to the Grumeti Reserve, for many of them it will be the first time they will see and appreciate wildlife up close.
Laurian Lamatus, the EEC's principal who has supervised the programme since 2009, says: "The goal of this course is to impart both theoretical and practical skills regarding the sustainable use of natural resources to the youth and to their teachers. The Center does this by igniting and encouraging a passion for the environment as well as creating an understanding of the ecosystem and our role in it."
Upon completion of the EEC course, students return to their local schools and communities where they become agents of change, the catalysts for developing conservation clubs, planting indigenous trees and tackling many other critically important environmental challenges.
The EEC is the first stop for guests on the Singita Grumeti community visit itinerary, an interactive excursion that takes guests into the neighbouring village to see a number of community partnership projects in action. These visits give guests insight into the work done by the Fund and it allows visitors a glimpse into the daily life of local communities. It also gives guests an opportunity to meet and personally interact with the families living on the outskirts of the reserve. By participating in a community visit, guests make a nominal financial contribution to support both the community groups they visit and the community development work of the Grumeti Fund.
The Grumeti Fund is enhancing the quality of education provided to the youth from local communities to equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue rewarding and successful careers. Support is provided in the form of scholarships for secondary school, vocational studies and university education within the conservation and tourism sectors. The Fund relies on the generosity of donors and sponsors to support and grow our conservation and community programs. Should you wish to contribute to any of the GF community development projects or our scholarship fund, your involvement and support will be highly appreciated. Should you wish to support this important initiative, please click here to donate.